A man drowns in the Batiscan River

A man drowning in the Batiscan River

The body of the man was found around 11 a.m. Sunday morning.

A 49-year-old man drowned on Saturday evening in the Batiscan River, in Notre-Dame-de-Montauban. His body was recovered by Sûreté du Québec (SQ) divers on Sunday morning.

The victim was bathing in the river, according to the SQ, near the Bélanger peninsula, in Notre-Dame-de-Montauban. The small municipality of Mauricie is located about thirty kilometers from Saint-Tite, where the man was from.

The victim's body was found around 11 a.m. Sunday morning. The police officers of the MRC of Mékinac had been contacted at 7 p.m. the day before, concerning a person who disappeared in the waters of the Batiscan River. Firefighters were also deployed to the scene to comb the banks.

An SQ command post was set up on Sunday morning on the Bélanger peninsula. Divers and the SQ helicopter continued the search.

According to witnesses, the man was accompanied by a woman at the time of the tragedy, who contacted the emergency services. This process turned out to be more complicated than expected.

They think they are safe with their cellphones, but there is no cellular network here, said a resident of Notre-Dame-de-Montauban, Marie-Monique Rompré, who lives near the scene of the tragedy.

The lady left the peninsula and she came here. It's a good 20 minute walk. She came here, to my house [but] we weren't there, we had gone for a walk. So she ran across to the neighbor to ask for help. The neighbor called 911, it took a long time, it took 50 minutes before the police came, said Ms. Rompré.

In 2019, a man also drowned in the Batiscan River in Notre-Dame-de-Montauban. His friend, who witnessed the scene, was unable to call for help within 30 minutes, due to a lack of cellular network.

Citizens hope to see the municipality implement this service.

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